Mindfulness for mothers

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About Nikki

Nikki left her job as CEO at the London-based charity Wings for Life UK to set up 10 of zen. She began to explore the role of meditation in her life, finding inspiration in Raja Yoga Meditation and the practitioners Thich Nhat Hanh, Tara Brach, Mark Williams and Kristin Neff.

Her commitment to a regular 10-minute daily meditation practice started when she became a mum in 2014, a transition she found very tough. Fondly known by her family as her ‘10 of zen’ time, she started to develop a style of meditation more tailored to the highs and lows of being a mum.

Bringing together classic meditation skills, an underpinning knowledge of psychological theory plus personal experiences of therapy and life coaching, Nikki started to record meditations for other mums while on maternity leave for a second time in 2017. She then went onto the train as a certified mindfulness teacher with author, coach and lecturer Shamash Alidina.

In 2018 she set up 10 of zen as a business with the goal of bringing the proven benefits of her own mindfulness practice to fellow mums around the world.

Episode highlights

  • Nikki’s journey into to Motherhood and her diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

  • 30% off all women experience some level of birth trauma

  • Within 2 weeks of birth Nikki couldn't leave her room without panic attack.

  • Her diagnosis was not available on the NHS as Nikki didn’t fit into the clinical picture box. Nikki’s condition was only diagnosed when she was thinking about having a second child.

  • Part of ‘Make Birth Better” - systematic approach to prevent this from happening and diagnose birth trauma quicker. If anyone is experience these symptoms, this should be their first point of call. The website has all the information

  • Nikki started daily meditation of 10 mins meditation. She practices mindful tools for mums: with a focus on stress less and love more. Started from a You Tube video.

  • Mindfulness involves applying conscious awareness to our day to day tasks.

  • What is mindfulness: present moment awareness. Becoming more aware of what is around us and from within.

  • Concept of mirror neurons. Children will mirror the parents emotions. How deeply interconnected we are, especially through children. Explicit or implicit - children pick up on these cues. Nikki’s fIrst degree is in cognitive neuroscience

  • Having tools to build up a more friendly approach to yourself. Manage emotions with a more gentleness or kindness.

  • As mothers, really tuned into our care giving capabilities - brain does not know the difference if you, or someone else, hugs you - release of oxytocin

  • Ten of Zen squad: Two ways to start - (1) Practice of mindful meditation (2) mindful living, little changes in day to day life. Hard to form a habit. Do this by creating community/accountability, and to start really small. Live call every Sunday night - gets you accountable. Library of meditation on website to tap into anytime. Next Zen Squad: End of May - looking out on Instagram

  • Nikki taught her eldest son to breathe when overwhelmed/angry.

  • Nikki’s next programme launch is Teach Ten - teaching 10 min mindfulness practice to women health professionals such as doulas, midwives, etc. Piloting program in April.

  • Favourite food: Chocolate

Relevant links

Website: www.tenofzen.com

Instagram @tenofzen

Facebook Group: Mindfulness for Mums

Make Birth Better

If you liked this episode of the Mothering the Mother Podcast, tell your friends! And go to iTunes and SoundCloud to rate/review/subscribe to the show. Follow us on Instagram, join my Facebook group the Mothering the Mother and email me at alison@alisonbarker.com with your questions, suggestions and feedback.